January 2000 Archives

Wow, that was a fast weekend. No real update today, but tomorrow I should be back with a regular update — and the notification list should be available tomorrow too, so you’ll be able to get a mail letting you know when I update.

overload

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Feeling overwhelmed today, and I’m not sure why. Would take tomorrow off, and attempt to mentally regroup, but have several meetings that I can’t get out of. Did get my manuscript back out to the publisher today, and hopefully it will go in without trouble, so that means there’s only the thesis between me and getting out of here.

It’s Dave “Scripting News” Winer in a suit. Dave talks like this is a rare thing, but he actually looks quite at home in the suit. Nice tie, too.

You’re going to hear about this in quite a few places, but on the off chance this is the only ‘blog you read: DoubleClick, a company that runs the banner ads on many, many websites, is setting themselves up to be able to track your online movements with an accuracy and completeness that’s never really been possible before, online or off. If you find this at all alarming (and you should), check out this Dan Gillmor article for one approach towards fighting back, or this more militant tactic, from the Privacy Digest (scroll down a bit).

This rant about the poorness of user interfaces in Open Source projects is entertaining, but nothing that hasn’t been said before. There are some efforts to address this that I’ve noticed on the Gnome mailing lists, but nothing I’ve seen addresses the most important aspect: the economics. All the user testing is expensive; how do you pay for it, when you’re giving the end product away? More significantly, people are willing to put up with quite a lot of crap when they think they’re getting something for free — this might be an effective way to convert people into the “loudmouthed power-users” required to get effective but inexpensive feedback on interfaces. (Via both Cam and Wes.)

(Mental note to self: The scripts that generate the Daily Dose pages should also set up appropriate Genpage glossary entries, so as to make crediting common link sources trivial.)

Wow. Joe Clark calls GeneHack a “cute, clever URL”. Probably one of the better things that happened to me today (you’re have to scroll down quite a bit to find the relevant section…)

I wonder if Evolution will be the mailer that finally replaces Gnus for me. It certainly sounds impressive, and would save me having to whack up some SQL crud myself.

Does anybody know who the APMA is? Or, more importantly, why some password-protected URL on their site is ending up in my referrer logs?

Is 2000 going to be remembered as the year that Open Source was co-opted? I certainly hope not, but I agree that we’re going to see some nasty patent-based court battles, maybe even some that make the DeCSS brouhaha look tame.

To go along with the Ars Technica hardware buyer’s guide from earlier in the week, here’s an Ars Technica system assembly guide.

New box status: Mobo, CPU, disk, and RAM ordered. Got case, CD-ROM, video card, mouse and modem today. Will be picking up floppy drive, sound card, and Debian on Saturday. I hope all the parts get here by Saturday, but I’m not all that hopeful. Speaking of Debian, does anyone have any comments on Learning Debian GNU/Linux (the O’Reilly Debian book)? Good or bad reviews welcomed; that’s what I’m planning to pick up on Saturday.

Speaking of CD-ROM’s, three GeneHack readers contributed basically the same answer to Wednesday’s “why are the buttons where they are” question. Paraphrasing all (any errors, of course, are mine): Since the laser and the motor have to be under the disk, putting all the circuitry there (including the parts that open the tray) saves both material (because otherwise you’d need a breadboard above the tray too) and vertical height on the bezel. So, a big thanks to Dan “Apathy” Fitch, Adam Mayer, Steve “Health ‘n Hacks” Pribut. Bonus points to Adam for noting that the problem can be easily solved by mounting the drive upside down.

I played around with the Mozilla M13/alpha release tonight. It’s actually fast enough that it’s almost usable! And since this is a pretty slow system, on a more modern machine it should be fine for day to day use. I tweaked the GeneHack layout a bit when I saw how it was rendering in Mozilla, so please let me know if that causes problems on other platforms. If I can’t build the new system this weekend, I’ll probably do some more work on this site, trying to clean up all the little non-conforming errors that have crept in over the last few months.

Anyway, hope all of you have a good weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday.

No real update today, as I was busy with thesis (a little) and computer component purchasing (a bit). I actually got about half a system ordered, and I’ll pick up the other bits and pieces at a local place this weekend. If all goes well, I should have a new system next week! I’m quite excited about getting a new toy; hopefully The Wife won’t become too annoyed with me during the wait for the UPS man…

I ended up changing quite a few things from the Ars Technica list I linked before, but overall stayed fairly close. Abit BE6-II mobo with a Celeron400A, CPU heat sink/fan, 64 MB RAM, and a 10.2 GB disk are on the way, for right around $440. This weekend, I’ll pick up a case, video card, generic CD-ROM, modem, and (depending on budget) a sound card. I won’t make the $500 I was aiming for, but hopefully will slide in under $600, which is still not too bad.

While I was discussing the New Toy with The Wife, she asked an interesting question. Hopefully, somebody out there can help: On CD-ROM drives, why are the eject and play buttons always located beneath the tray? It makes it very difficult to hit the close button when the drive is in a tower that’s on the floor. I know, you can just push on the tray, but it always feels like that’s forcing the eject motor the wrong way or something. Come up with an answer (doesn’t have to be correct, just good) and earn eternal fame on GeneHack.

Don’t forget the blog chat fest tonight, starting at 5:30 PST and going until we give up, on #blogirc at irc.skunkworks.cx. See you there…

(the title update wasn’t meant to parse as an orgazmo reference, but…)

It’s probably going to be a light night tonight, as I’ve got to write some kind of IRC help guide for Wednesday’s #blogirc chat, and I actually did some thesis writing today, which means no surfing. Anyway, into the mix…

There’s a short piece about ‘protests’ of GM’d crops over at Reason. It’s a bit one-sided (hey, look at the source!), but the middle part about the language used to describe actions is kind of interesting, from a soc/cult. crit. POV.

I wonder how much my experiences at the NIH will be like this postdoc’s were?

Researchers at UCSF may have found a point to prions, believed to be the causative agent in mad cow disease and the related Cruzfeld-Jakob syndrome in humans. This is actually pretty exciting; if I had a bit more time, I’d try to track down the paper. Alas, the thesis calls…

One of the things on my Do Before You Die list is visiting the Trinity site.

Before I go, a couple of odd naval gazing bits. First, I was quite surprised to see that yesterday’s update was bigger (in bytes) than all of last week’s put together. I must remember that blogging every day actually takes less time overall than saving it all up and spewing. Second, and probably not amusing to anyone but me, I got about 1.5 times as many page views on Friday, with no update, as I did on Monday, with an update. Go figure. Okay, off to write about IRC…

Hey, remember me? I used to have a weblog here…or at least that’s what it feels like. It’s amazing what a little time off will do to your perspective; I feel a bit more balanced about the whole ‘blogging versus thesis versus the 16 other things I’m doing part of my life — we’ll see how long that lasts. And now, I think I have some links buried around here somewhere…

Last week, perl.com had a short piece in defense of coding standards. (Those of you who hang in the SDM might recognize the author.) This is something I’ve thought about a bit in the past, because most (if not all) of the code I write at work is going to end up being publicly available — and you don’t want to look sloppy to potential employers or co-workers. I’m also (in my infinite amount of spare time) trying to work on a style guide for the xemacs.org website, and some of this stuff could apply there too. Gonna have to sit down and devote some cycles to this…

A couple of other people pointed to this nanobe story, about very, very small things that may or may not be alive (the rational scientific opinion isn’t in yet; the non-rational scientists are calling each other names and jumping to conclusions, per usual). If they are ‘alive’, they’re probably only ‘alive’ like viruses are — that is to say, only when they’re infecting something. Another, much more interesting possibility is that they’re alive in a distributed sense, with different individual cell-like bodies doing overlapping subsets of basic life functions to support the growth of the whole ‘organism’ — which would give people studying them fits, and make the rest of us sit up and pay attention. Those of you wondering which kind of scientist I am…well, guess. Sissies. 8^)=

What’s on it for me? kicks big w3b gh0d a$$ — you go, lawyer boy!

The new RISKS digest is out, featuring the true (or at least another version of the) story of the Stinger missile-wielding kangaroos. (I’d link directly to the item, but it appears Lindsey hasn’t HTML-ized it yet — but I’m sure it’s there now; go look.)

For my later use: information about changing the fonts and colors in *nix Netscape with .Xdefaults.

Speaking of Netscape, I built a CVS snapshot of Mozilla this weekend (after waiting 8 hours or so for it to download; I’m sure my ISP loves me). The good news is I was able to get it to build on my LinuxPPC box, and it runs and is fairly stable. The bad news is, even with optimization, and without debugging info compiled in, it’s still slower than dirt on my 166 MHz 604e. I’ll be sticking with Netscape for now, I think.

And speaking of LinuxPPC, I see that Yellow Dog Linux (who make another Linux distribution for the PowerPC platform) have started their own mailing lists. That’s really too bad; the community lists hosted at linuxppc.org have always been about Linux on the PowerPC platform, not just the LinuxPPC distribution — and it’s all Linux, mostly, which means all the Linux resources on the ‘net apply too.

And speaking of Linux, after much mental deliberation, and a fair bit of talking The Wife around, I think we’re going to be picking up an x86 setup. I’ll run *nix on that (probably Debian, but feel free to pitch your favorite distribution to me), and The Wife will inherit the 7500++, which will go back to running the MacOS. (Haven’t decided if I’ll leave a LinuxPPC partition on it or not — I probably will, and I’ll keep trying to convince her to shift over.) So, I spent quite a bit of time this weekend checking out reviews, and buyer’s guides, all and that rot. I’m a PC hardware newbie, and I’m about half convinced that it’s made deliberately cryptic, just to mess with people. Anyway, I’m looking to put together a Celeron-based system for around US$500 to US$600 (that’s just the box; I’ve got a monitor and printer). Pointers, opinions, etc., etc., are all very welcome — I’ll post more of a spec sheet when I have a better idea of what I’m looking for. (Okay, it’s pretty close to Ars Technica’s budget box, but I’d like to bring the price down US$100 or so.)

Wow — look at all that text I had backed up. I should probably go back, and edit a lot of that way, way down, but it’s late, and I’m tired, and I actually have to go to work tomorrow and Get Things Done On The Thesis. I’ll be trying to ‘blog this week, like normal, or at the very least putting up a “no update” update. Oh — and if you need to mail me about any of the things above, I’ll be at jacobs@genehack.org, like always. Have a good one, and keep yer head down — it’s Monday, after all.

tired

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Still no real blog, still no time. Mostly finished with the minor revisions that were needed to get the paper accepted; it should be going out tomorrow. Now I just have to get the thesis finished. I think if I really crank, I can finish the current chapter by Saturday or Sunday, and the next chapter early next week. Then I should be able to get back to a more normal schedule here. The good news is that I finally got myself into the head down, locked jaw, teeth gritted, grim inevitability mental state where all I want to do is get the damn thing out. Focus is good, but it’s not making life all that pleasant for those around me…

Speaking of teeth, I have a dentist appointment tomorrow. Due to very bad childhood experiences, I hate and fear the dentist. One reason I’m writing this long update is because I can’t sleep, thinking about what’s going to happen tomorrow morning. Here’s something I just don’t understand: in the last few decades, especially the current one, we’ve made huge strides in medicine and other sciences. Why is dentistry still using essentially the same tools and techniques as 50 years ago? Why do I have to let at least two strangers stick their hands and sharp metal objects into my mouth? Most importantly, if the latter is necessary, why do I have to be awake while it happens?

This is really starting to look more journal than blog, isn’t it? Sorry ‘bout that. I’ve seen some interesting stuff, but only via other ‘blogs, and I’m too tired to remember what came from where right now. So, for the rest of this week, and maybe the next, be your own blogger: go to the appropriate start page, and start clicking. I usually do comics, good deeds, journals, the linux section, then general (aka blogs), followed by music blogs, and then news. I save the science stuff for the evening, when I’ve got more time to read carefully.

Is anybody out there interested in a notification list, a la Medley (and others)? Let me know.

Taking the night off. Not liking the thesis one little bit.

Got the replacement bag from Amazon today; when I get a spare moment, I’ll write up an epinion.

thesis mode

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It’s gonna be a light week around here, as I’m (finally) getting into thesis mode, which means less surfing, and less stuff to comment on. I’m also trying to crank on the xemacs.org site, so that’s taking some energy too. (Here’s a sneak peek at the new look. Well, new look v1.1; there have been some changes since the screen shot I put up a couple weeks ago.)

I’m about two months behind on my print periodicals, but I did recently get through the Reader’s Choice issue of Rolling Stone. I skipped most of the cruft (Backstreet Boys, ugh.) but did notice that in the “Artists Pick Best-of-Year” section that Mark Hoppus (the bassist from Blink-182) listed both Clarity by Jimmy Eat World and Something To Write Home About by The Get Up Kids. Nice to see a bigger name giving some back to those still on the way up.

The latest issue of Brave GNU World talks about Sawmill, among other things.

Here’s some more desktop background fodder, from Tigert, of Gimp fame.

Somebody actually went and implemented Vigor! This is a Microsoft Office-like paper clip helper doodad — for vi. Inspired by User Friendly, and depicted in the strip as causing scads of vi users to switch to emacs, to escape the dreaded thing.

Here’s what happens when someone’s love of Gnus goes too far… 8^)=

respect

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Just when you think it can’t get any worse. Boy o’boy, what a day I’ve had…

Be the first on your block to take the new on-line test sweepin’ the ‘Blog Nation, What Breed of Dog Are You?. My answer?

You are most like a BASSET HOUND. You are one laid-back individual! You cherish your “down time” and treasure the moments that you have no responsibility to anyone but your couch and TV set. You are easy to get along with and are extremely low maintenance. You probably love to hang out with your friends, as long as it is in a low-key environment. Although some might consider you lazy, you prefer to think of yourself as “relaxed.” Your no-frills approach to life makes you a refreshing friend to all.

Hey kids! Want to “hang out” on-line with your favorite blogger? Join Weblogs-social — the hip, new, happenin’ juke joint. Just don’t fawn over the listmom too much, he hates that.

How to tell it’s gone too far: You’re seriously considering entering the Angband save-file competition. Bonus points if you did seriously consider it, but didn’t enter because you don’t play the varient used in this round, and didn’t think you could overcome the competitive disadvantage that gave you.

On the bag tip, reader Jaime Burns pointed me to CourierWare, where there are some fine looking bags, apparently aimed at the bike messenger market. Not too shabby. Dan “Lake Effect” Hartung recommended the Land’s End Square Rigger Deluxe attache case. I’d look up the link for that on the Land’s End site, but I’m too lazy (see above). As far as the amazon.com bag that I had issues with, they replied prompty to an email, and are sending a new bag (and a return mail sticker to ship the old one back). Nice customer service; now if they’d work on that brain dead patent thing…

The new ‘net money is starting to invest in biotech, and they’re bringing their economic culture with them:

Barkas, on the other hand, argued that the biotech firms featured at the conference all had an excellent shot at triumph. “You don’t have to have a product on the market for people to have confidence in a company,” he said. “They wouldn’t be here if they weren’t going to be a success.”

This is a good first start on a User’s Guide to the Milky Way.

Researchers at Cornell have data suggesting a mouse with built-in wrist support may keep the hand in a more ‘neutral’ position, which is thought to reduce the chance of RSI. What about trackballs? Seems odd to leave those out…

Well, that appears to be the bottom of the Big Bag O’ Linkage. Have a good weekend, and I’ll catch up with you on Monday.

IRC junkie

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Well, last night’s #BlogIRC fest was great fun. So much, in fact, that I’m skipping today’s update, because I don’t really have the time to do it justice.

I’d post some excerpts from the chat, but (a) there were really too many to pick one just one or two, and (b) I forgot to turn on logging. I’m sure someone else had it on, so I’ll point to that when I hear about it.

Oh yes, /OP metajohn

See you tomorrow!

Probably going to be a light update; I’ve got some mail to try to catch up on.

A while back, I mentioned that I had switched to Sawmill, a window manager that uses a Emacs Lisp dialog for configuration and scripting, and is overall very lightweight and fast. Those of you interested in a high-level-language scripted WM but who are Lisp-phobic can rejoice at the PointLess Window Manager, which is similar to Sawmill in concept but implemented in Python.

A couple of other bloggers pointed to Keith Devlin’s The Death of the Paragraph. It’s not exactly the same thing, but I’m finding, as I work on my thesis, that my writing style has been changed by the amount of web and email writing I do. I’m not yet sure if it’s for good or bad, but I am having to struggle to achieve a ‘scholarly’ tone, and to fully develop my arguments. Not that I don’t have to develop logical structures for the web and email too, but there’s a definite difference, and switching back and forth every day is giving me multiple cognition syndrome — not a bad thing, but sometimes annoying.

The Mnemonic Project is attempting to build a web browser that will be released under the GNU license. Here’s a screenshot — it looks semi-functional! Doesn’t do tables yet, which is too bad. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to play with this soon…

This brief review of Robert Young’s Under the Radar (which chronicles the rise of Red Hat) makes it sound like a moderately interesting read, but not something I’m going to run right out and pick up — I’ll wait for the paperback.

Looks like that’s it; I’m off to answer mail before collapsing in bed. Don’t forget; #BlogIRC on EFNet tonight, 8:30 PM EST. Hope to see you there.

Well, according to my copy of “‘Bloggin for Dummies”, I’m required to comment on the Time Warner AOL deal. Brighter people than I have said better things about the long-term implications of this for consumers, and I’m not going to bother to link them, because everybody else already has. All the media pundits are saying the same thing: “This isn’t good for anybody except Time Warner shareholders”. That’s only partly correct; I think it’s bad for the stockholders too, in the long run. Ignoring the people who own stock indirectly (for example, through pension, retirement, or money market funds), it seems like the professional (or even serious amateur) stock trader is highly dependent on information, and the best way to ensure a fast, wide information pipe is to have a large number of sources. Sure, there are signal:noise problems, but once you get down to one channel, it’s either signal or noise — there’s no in between. Guess which one you’re going to get.

(Hey, I bet Michael Wolf of New York Magazine is getting some crap at work today — Monday’s column predicts that in 2000, “Old media buys new media with dot-com ad dollars.” so close!)

While we’re on the scary tip, have a look at www.anybirthday.com. That’s right, a publicly accessible database correlating name, zip code, and birth date. Nothing like making identity theft really easy, eh? If I were in a paranoid mood, I might start to rant about how this is all part of the plan to get us locked into biometric-based identification (voice-, retina-, finger-prints), which will be even more privacy-invading. But I’m not, so I won’t.

Although it doesn’t seem to think that I exist. Or The Wife. Hurm; seems more likely that their servers are Not Right.

Last week I mentioned the amazon.com bag I got for Christmas, which prompted a reader to point out the excellent bags at Waterfield Designs, particularly this one. The buckle is particularly striking. As far as the amazon.com bag, the news there isn’t so good. After less than a week of usage (and not terribly hard usage at that), the waist strap used to restrain the bag (when cycling, for instance) basically fell off into my hand. I mailed Amazon and asked them to send a new bag and the postage to return the old one; I’ll let people know how that works out. For the record, I’m assuming I just got a random poorly manufactured bag, and that this doesn’t reflect the normal quality. If the strap on the next one falls off, that assumption will be a’changing.

Last week, Nerve ran this striking photo as Photo of the Day. Warning #1 Bare breasts behind that link; react appropriately. Warning #2 Based on URL formatting, that picture seems likely to change after the end of January — or maybe the end of 2000. If she has a big tattoo over her lower abdomen, it’s the photo I pointed at.

ResExcellence has some served with LinuxPPC badges, for those of you serving with LinuxPPC.

The first weblog get-together on IRC has been planned (you knew it was inevitable). This Wednesday (12 Jan), 8:30 PM EST (that’s 0230 UTC the next day, right?). Get all the nitty-gritty over at Mike’s Weblog Madness page. I’ll be there, thesis permitting, probably with the nick ‘genehack’.

Data from the Galileo fly-by of Europa supports the sub-ice liquid ocean model, which is consistent with the life on Europa model. Maybe we should skip Mars, and just head straight to Europa?

Celera’s kicking big-time genome sequencing butt. They’re 90% done, think they’ve got 97% of the actual genes, are probably on track to finish this summer, and are claiming that they’ll release “most” of the sequence publicly. It would be nice, but I’m not holding my breath.

There’s more than a little whiff of right-wing crank (or is it libertarian crank?) around Undernews, but the Jan 10 entry had some good bits, notably “Rigging the Debates”, “Drug Busts”, and “The List” of questions you won’t hear at the Presidential debates later this year. The good bits are too long to pull quote; just follow the link. By the way, I signed a petition today to get a medical marijuana referendum on the ballot here. For the third time (And the first two passed. Overwhelmingly.) Ain’t democracy grand?

What makes a Fsckhead? (Spotted in alt.tech-support.recovery.)

Needed to grab some desktop pictures the other day, and ended up at skinz.org. There’s some interesting stuff there; if you’ve got the bandwidth to handle it. It’s pretty slow going over a modem.

Hey, Jason Bring the Rock” is back from the dead, and once again bringin’ that ole Rock. Missed ya, Jason; good to see you back in the saddle.

I bumped Jason back onto more of the Daily Dose pages; there are a couple of other changes as well. See y’all tomorrow.

Ugh. I had a nice update for y’all, but the computer ate it. I’ll try to remember what I had, and toss it into a super-duper extra-bonus chunk-o-rific update tomorrow. Oh, and if you’re waiting for email from me, I’m on it — just running a bit behind at the moment.

New hard drive arrived, which means things have to move around. Doing that tonight, maybe tomorrow. Will be back on Monday (or maybe sooner) — have a good one, everybody…

Taking it easy today — I’ve got other things I should be doing, and even other things that I’d like to be doing, and so I’m shorting the blog update.

This Salon piece on hemorrhoids goes out to all those unfortunates shifting uncomfortably in their chairs.

Screenshot of Apple’s new MacOS X desktop. Looks pretty, but how well does it work?

Molly Ivins is coming out in favor of Bradley in today’s column. Being a Kansas boy myself, I have to dig this:

What he does have, and it takes a while to explain this, is Midwesterness. Not to paint with a broad brush or anything, but Midwesterners tend to be incredibly practical and incurably down-to-earth. (I base this opinion on the three years, including 18 winters, that I spent in Minnesota.)

I can’t explain it either, but I completely understand what she’s talking about.

A popular link today (again, first spotted at /.): Larry Wall on the development of Perl. Larry Wall is an excellent writer; even if you have no idea what Perl is, I imagine you’d still enjoy this one.

A question for the hardware heads in the audience: I just purchased one of these on eBay — it’s a half-height 1.2 gig drive, with 80 pin Ultra3 SCSI connection. Stupid git that I am, I didn’t read closely enough to see the ‘80 pin’ part before placing my bid — all I’ve got internally is 50 pin SCSI-I. I already picked up an appropriate drive to fill that slot, so I don’t really even had a good spot to stick it. How expensive/troublesome is it going to be to pick up a case for it and then slap a SCSI-I adaptor on the case and hang it off my external chain?

Here’s something that might please the power users in the audience: PowerShell is a program that puts multiple xterms into a ‘tabbed’ frame, so they only take up one window.

Fight for your right to nap! (NY Times, so free registration required. Nipped from Scripting News.)

The explanation for why the moon looks larger when it’s low in the sky.

In the latest instance of genetic testing testing history, scientists are attempting to discover if Louis XVII really died in prison, or if loyalists broke him out so that he could father descendents.

RNA interference works in mammals! This is huge — RNA interference is a technique that lets scientists turn off specific genes — something that’s been (up to this point) very very difficult to do in mammals. Turning off a gene and then seeing what happens is a standard experiment in genetics; it’s especially useful when you don’t really know what the gene might be doing. Hopefully by the time the experimental animal genomes start coming on-line, this technique will be debugged so the genome centers can swing right into systematic knock-outs…

I’m not sure why, but something about this page screams ‘Disgruntled crank!’.

This has been linked all over too (I think I saw it on /. first). It’s a screed about how tech support cartoons (e.g., User Friendly) aren’t funny: ID10T errors in cartooning. The subtitle is “Why must we mock those who don’t understand?” — the answer is “Because mocking those who do understand isn’t as funny.”

Everybody’s putting on a fresh face to start the new year — saturn.org is sporting a new skin, one that doesn’t make Netscape start swapping when it renders! (Don’t get me wrong, I liked the old design, it just made my browser unhappy.)

(And yes, yesterday’s wine link was put up with a certain Medley in mind — what can I say, you name your domain ‘uncorked’, and you start to get a reputation for liking the grape juice… 8^)

I’m sure most of you saw this linked from /., but if you didn’t, you should definitely give Bruce Sterling’s The Manifesto of January 3, 2000 a look.

The aggressive counter-action to commodity totalitarianism is to give things away. Not other people´s property — that would be, sad to say, “piracy” — but the products of your own imagination, your own creative effort.

I expect to see this one linked from a bunch of places today.

At last, an explanation of the Three Virtues of a programmer. (Laziness, impatience, and hubris, for those non-geeks out there.) Via the Whump! (hey, I’ve got that hat!)

Cool, the Sandbenders Collective is getting started. Although I thought they were supposed to be in Oregon…

There’s an amazing amount of science behind wine.

In the “boy, they just don’t learn” category, the Feds reprise the stunningly successful Steve Jackson Games raid by taking on Ramsey Electronics, a supplier of educational electronic kits. More at technocrat.net.

Dan “Apathy” Fitch pulls out all stops with his lo-fi simANSI-phreaker-b04rdz site remake. I’m speechless, kids, and those that know me will tell ya it takes a lot to get me to that unfamiliar spot. Go Dan!

Bit of a lame update. I bookmarked several promising things, but after fully reading them, didn’t have anything interesting to say about them. Also suffering from the inevitable post-holiday back-to-work blues. See you tomorrow…